Friday, 5 March 2010

Wind turbines provider to set up IT hub in RP

By Anna Valmero

MANILA, Philippines – A Danish wind power solutions provider will build its second largest IT hub in the country and hire up to 200 local employees by 2011, an official said Thursday.

The local IT hub, to be inaugurated Thursday night, will house 100 employees by yearend and up to 200 by 2011, from the existing 25. This will make the Philippine IT hub the second largest next to its headquarters in Denmark, said Sean Sutton, president for Vestas Wind Systems Asia-Pacific.

The Vestas Services Philippines Inc. will be the fourth Vestas main IT center in the world, next to Denmark, Singapore, and USA. It will support Vestas' global team with IT operations and back-end support including surveillance, service desk and programming competencies for the operation of 11,500 turbines worldwide in real-time, said Torben Bonde, chief information officer and senior vice president for Vestas Wind Systems.

The Manila hub is part of our value chain and will be groomed to enable us to grow up to 8.5 billion euros in revenues, Bonde said.

Juergen Wirth, managing director of Vestas Services Philippines, said the company was hiring extensively for its Manila hub.

“From seven other countries, we chose Manila, Philippines because of the skilled talent poll here plus the abundant wind energy sources in the country,” said the official.

Wind energy comprises about one percent of global power use and is set to grow by 10 percent in Asia by 2020. The location in the Philippines puts Vestas in a strategic position to gain more inroads in the market while lowering energy generation costs in the country, Sutton said.

Aside from after sales support, the company is also seeking to provide the government's power generation target of 417 megawatts by 2013 from wind energy, said Sutton.

“Currently, we have supplied 20 turbines in the wind farms in Ilocos Norte that generates 33 MW of power, which is capable of supplying energy to households up to tens of thousands. The Philippines being an abundant source of wind energy, we plan to scale up and get a significant slice of that 417 MW energy target,” Sutton told

“If that's the case, it would mean generating more local jobs apart from the IT hub. Per megawatt of wind energy produced, 13 jobs are created so I believe we have a positive consequence to jobs creation if the Philippines goes full blast in achieving its targets for renewable wind energy,” said Sutton.

Harnessing renewable energy sources like the wind is imperative to meet the fast rising energy demands set to double by 2020 amid the diminishing fossil fuel resources, said Sutton.

“Wind power is a renewable, predictable and does not emit greenhouse gases, a clean source of energy and a high viable solution to the world's long-term power demands. Energy demands are expected to double by 2020 and faced with diminishing energy resources, we aim to make wind energy at par with oil and gas as a reliable and competitive energy source,” added Sutton.

Compared to oil and gas, energy generation costs using wind turbines are lowered over time because of total megawatts produced over a 20-year operational life cycle of the turbines, which are recyclable. Moreover, wind energy generation does not emit greenhouse gases unlike fossil fuels that has intensified global warming, he said.

Vestas is a provider of wind turbines that could generate energy up to 3MW capacity, depending on power requirements and the terrain of the target location.

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